Treatment of Shoulder Arthritis

(Please note, these patients were treated with the Regenexx cultured stem cell procedure and not Regenexx-SD.  While Regenexx-SD does rely on the same stem cell type that was used to treat these patients and other clinics have reported good results using similar procedures that don’t rely on stem cell culturing, Regenexx-SD clinical effectiveness has not yet been established.)

Wayne is a 60-year-old retired financial planner. He had a multi-year history of bilateral shoulder pain and was told he needed a shoulder replacement. He had tried steroid injections with minimal success. He couldn’t lift his right shoulder, throw a ball or lift heavy objects. Wayne was seen in our Colorado clinic for the Regenexx procedure.

Eight months after his stem cell injection into the right shoulder, Wayne reports 75 percent improvement and wants us to inject his other shoulder (which is also a candidate for a joint replacement).

Below are his pre-stem cell MRI on the left and his five-month post- injection MRI on the right. The biggest change is that the pre-injection MRI shows a dry arthritic joint without fluid, and the post-injection MRI shows a joint with normal joint fluid. This is important, as this synovial fluid lubricates the joint and allows it to move normally while cushioning and protecting the cartilage. We believe the new cartilage cells created by the stem cell injection have now started to produce synovial fluid, where the old cells did not.

shoulder arthritis

Shoulder Rotator Cuff Tear

JG is a 34 year old white male who injured his shoulder in a car crash. There was an AC joint injury as well as a suspected labral tear with impingement. He failed physical therapy and subsequently underwent a sub-acromialdecompression. Regrettably, this surgery failed and a new rotator cuff tear was identified in more advanced post-op imaging (3.0 Tesla MRI). JG was reluctant to undergo more surgery, so he volunteered for our stem cell tendon repair study.

The patient underwent stem cell harvest and expansion using our patent pending technique. We planned his injection procedures using the pre-op MRI images and used our patent pending x-ray guidance system to inject cells directly into the rotator cuff tear. He underwent a series of injections after that (2 more) and was allowed full activity (he remained working and adjusting patients during this treatment). He had about a week of post-operative soreness.

Below are his before and after MRI’s, showing good healing of the rotator cuff tear. The most unique part of this therapy is that if his torn rotator cuff had been surgically repaired, JG would have needed a bracing. This is because a surgical rotator cuff repair causes significant trauma and this needs to heal in an set position for several weeks. If the patient doesn’t do this the sutures can fail, causing more tearing. This immobility can lead to more muscle atrophy, and for JG it would have meant taking weeks off before returning to work (he works with his hands all day). In addition, physical therapy is then required to build back up the strength lost to the bracing.

rotator cuff tear

Click here to view videos of our shoulder patient testimonials